Anthony Joshua appears to have sent the strong message that he is fit and ready to step back inside the boxing ring after showing off an incredibly cut physique in his latest Instagram post.
The world heavyweight champion shared a photo of himself lifting a medicine ball in his latest training regime and looked fitter than ever as he displayed a torso that any champion bodybuilder would be proud of.
But the 2012 Olympic gold-medallist will find a much more functional use for those muscles than mere display on March 31, when he defends his IBF, IBO and WBA belts against Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium.
It will be Joshua’s 21st professional bout and the sixth defence of his IBF heavyweight title. He will also have the chance to win another belt with Parker the current holder of the WBO heavyweight title.
Both go into the bout unbeaten with Parker boasting 24 wins and 18 knockouts compared to Joshua’s 20 wins and 20 knockouts. The New Zealander’s last fight came against Hughie Fury last September, which he won by a controversial split decision after 12 gruelling rounds.
In comparison, no one has really come close to defeating except Wladimir Klitschko who sent him to the canvas in their Wembley showdown last April.
Joseph Parker will come up against the heavyweight champion in Cardiff on March 31
Parker will look to take AJ’s three heavyweight belts away from him at the Principality Stadium
That famous night in front of 90,000 fans is likely to go down in British sporting history and Joshua has previously stated his belief that the experience gives him the edge over his more experienced opponent.
‘I think you can either become overwhelmed or perform under pressure – it’s either or,’ he told Sportsmail exclusively last month.
‘I think I’m at a stage now where I don’t know everything but in terms of being thrown in the deep end, with the [Wladimir] Klitschko and Takam fights, how I felt with the Klitschko bout is different to how I felt for the Takam fight and it should be different for the Parker fight due to experience.
‘It will be interesting to see how he copes as it is daunting. It is showtime and everyone is watching now. It’s not only the fight night, remember it’s the whole build-up in terms of the press conference, the fight hype, the build-up and the interest — everything will probably be bigger than what he’s used to.’